Fattypuffs and Thinifers

by Rick Jelliffe

Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man. I wonder whether my enthusiasm for plurality springs from my childhood indoctrination by the book Fattypuffs and Thinifers. Not so much Maximalist versus Minimalist, but Monolithist versus Layerist, perhaps.

My dear old Dad had a patient, an old lady who used to work in the railway kitchens who, a little intoxicated by her medication, presented him every week with an enormous multilayered chocolate cake, about three times as high as round and both splendid and terrifying. I think from that I learned that even a highly layered thing can be too big and fat. Perhaps people who make unnecessarily large technologies never had the benefit of the cooking of eccentrics: perhaps we should be feeding our children more, or, at least, more miraculously architected, cakes.